If you happen to be a manager, senior manager, director or C-suite level executive in your organization, and you’re responsible for managing a team, then this post is dedicated to you.
I want to share some raw and rare insights in this article that you need to know if you truly want to become a better leader in your company.
Many good companies nowadays are losing good employees. As a manager, there will come a day or maybe many days when your employee, subordinate or staff member asks to meet with you privately. And in that meeting, they will hand over their letter of resignation. You’ll be shocked. This happened to be an amazing employee. You had been relying upon them heavily, and suddenly they’d tell you that they’re leaving. You would think that you didn’t see this coming. You might even ask them, “Why? Why are you leaving? Were you not happy here?” Then, as you continue to question, you might even ask yourself, “Is there a chance that it might be because of me? Was it something that I said or did?”
Well, the answer that your soon-to-be ex-employee will give you will likely not be the entire truth. They are not going to give you the real reasons as to why they are leaving, because their fear of burning their own bridges will be much greater than the desire to share with you the truth.
Today I am writing about the top 5 real reasons why your good employees are leaving you, and what you need to think about in order to resolve this if it’s happening in your company.
Reason #1: There’s no room for growth
This is by far the most common and the biggest reason that recruiters hear from job candidates who want to leave their companies. Good employees are good because they are ambitious, they are keen to learn, they consistently produce high quality work, and they deliver value. But what happens when they have done that for a while, made amazing accomplishments, and now they are ready to move up? Naturally, they will start looking for any growth opportunities that are available to them in their current organization. If there is nothing available, or no room for advancement in their role, they will know that they’re stuck. That’s the point where they start to think about moving into another company, looking for new opportunities outside of the organization.
As the manager, if you don’t want to get to a point where you get a letter of resignation sooner than you would like, then you need to be thinking about the future of your employees long before they do. You need to accept the fact that this is natural, and you need to anticipate it.
As human beings, we’re ambitious; we have desires; we want to experience new things; thus that will also happen with your good ambitious employees. So the plan is, if in your current team, there are some employees who are really good and you really want to keep, you need to start thinking about their future now. It will be way too late when they hand you their letter of resignation. It is best to start planning together with them regarding where you see them going, and what opportunities you can potentially help them to get into, after they have truly achieved what was needed from them in their current role.
Reason #2: Lack of challenging work
When it comes to challenging work, there are 2 subsets to it. The first is that there is not enough autonomy, meaning the employee does not get enough independence and freedom to do their work. Good employees like to feel a sense of ownership over their work. These employees are good because they deliver high quality work, and they want to be given the freedom to be able to do their work their way.
If you find yourself micromanaging every aspect, criticizing, and not complementing or encouraging, then you will quickly find yourself with an unhappy employee who would want to leave. The solution to this is, whenever you can, as your employee for their opinion. Ask them for what their approach would be, and give them the freedom to test it out.
The second situation good employees feel that there is lack of challenging work in their job is when the work is too routine and monotonous. Ambitious employees eventually become bored. They need challenge and variety. They need different experiences.
As their manager, you want to be able to predict and foresee this. This can be done by planning out projects ahead of time, and letting your employee know about them. This will make them feel engaged and work hard not only for themselves but also for the organization.
Reason #3: You don’t have a real connection with your employees
The connection that you have with your employees determines how long they’re going to stay with you and whether they truly want to work with you. If your good employee simply views you as someone who gives them their paycheck, rather than someone whom they feel empowered by, or whom they want to help and support, they will not feel a real connection with you.
You have to remember that you are not just their boss. You are someone whom they look up to as a key player in their career. So the way you connect with your employees determines whether they will be happy and stay at their job with you, or leave the organization and go for something else.
What’s the key to connecting with your employees? The answer is to be present with them. Have genuine discussions. Learn more about your employees. Find out what excites them or motivates them. When you are present with someone, they will be able to sense it and be able to appreciate it. They will see you as someone who does see value in them. That in turn will give them a sense of empowerment, and a sense of wanting to stay with you longer under your leadership.
Reason #4: You, as the manager, are not inspiring enough
How good are you at truly motivating your employees? Do you often find yourself turning your employees against each other, thinking that that’s going to motivate them? That’s not inspiring to anyone!
In order to become a manager or leader whom others inspire to be, you have to find that sense of inspiration from within yourself. You have to inspire yourself to step outside of your ego. In other words, instead of focusing on yourself, you need to place your focus on your employees to be able to identify and recognize their value. Everybody wants to feel that they are valued, or that they are making an impact on the team or organization they are in.
If you can help your employees to feel connected to the work that they’re doing, and why they are there, and the impact that they are making, they are much more likely to last longer in your company.
Reason #5: The pay isn’t fair or reasonable
This point is actually self-explanatory. If you know that you are underpaying your employees, then you can expect a high turnover rate.
This can be avoided if you have already planned for this or implemented benefits that are going to go above and beyond what the pay allows. For example, additional vacations, employee-centered events, purposeful work, trainings, or anything that gets them to stay engaged and compelled to stay longer at the organization is going to help.